Australia’s top-selling vehicle, the Toyota HiLux, is due to get a midlife facelift in July this year that is believed to include a power bump for the 2.8-litre turbo diesel and added creature comforts such as Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
The update comes five years after the current generation Toyota HiLux went on sale and is designed to keep the vehicle fresh amid the arrival of newer competition such as the all-new Isuzu D-Max which is due in showrooms about the same time, and the all-new Ford Ranger due next year.
Details are scarce but dealers are beginning to receive limited information about the updated model, which is said to get a tougher front-end appearance but retain the rest of the bodywork, and receive mild revisions to the interior that will include an upgraded infotainment system that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
CarAdvice understands the 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel will come in for a power increase following a major overhaul designed to address concerns about output and clogged diesel particulate filters (DPF).
Reports out of Japan say a version of this engine is slated for the upcoming Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series in some markets, meaning a power upgrade is likely for this engine in other applications such as the Toyota HiLux, Toyota Prado and Toyota Fortuner.
It is unclear if the towing capacity of the automatic HiLux will be upgraded to 3500kg to match manual versions; for now auto models are capped at 3200kg.
Toyota has already rolled out its advanced “Safety Sense” technology across all HiLux models in Australia; the updated version is likely to carry this over.
Dealers have been told the updated Toyota HiLux will arrive in late July or early August, however these estimates were given before the global outbreak of COVID-19. If sales of the runout model slow down, then the introduction of the updated HiLux could be pushed back.
The arrival of an updated HiLux will come at a good time for Toyota as it faces increasing competition from the Ford Ranger – and other models such as the upcoming new generation Isuzu D-Max, a revised Nissan Navara range for 2020, and the sharply-priced Mitsubishi Triton line-up.
Last year Ford Ranger 4x4 models (most of which are double-cab) outsold the equivalent Toyota HiLux 4x4 models for eight months in a row and the entire calendar year in 2019.
The Toyota HiLux was the number one vehicle in 2019 when all variants are counted (47,649 versus 40,960) but the Ford Ranger is closing the gap.
Ford Ranger 4x4 models have continued to outsell the Toyota HiLux 4x4 in the first two months of 2020, but Toyota could reclaim some lost ground as it has a big push in March, the end of the Japanese financial year.